Friday, April 21, 2017

Six Questions for Avery Myers, Editor-in-Chief, -Ology Journal

-Ology Journal publishes fiction, essays, and poetry to 2,500 words. Issues are themed. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Avery Myers: I started this magazine because I was bored. That's the honest answer! I know most people would give some poetic and beautiful response -- a look into the past, if you will -- but that wouldn't be the truth, coming from me. I started it as a young girl in high school, and since I'm still bored, I'm still rolling with it. -Ology Journal's historia is pretty lame.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?

AM: Creativity is a must!! I don't like to see carbon-copied-angst-prose on a daily basis. I don't think any of our submissions managers do either. I find myself gravitating to pieces that are made with love -- you can tell the difference between a piece that truly means something to the author, and a piece that they're shelling out in order to submit. And lastly, be personal. Metaphors are nice until the poem or story has no substance underneath it all. The words we use are important, but the meaning is even more so.

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

AM: The most common question I find myself asking when I read a piece is, "did this person even read the submissions page?" To me, it's the simplest, and really, the most polite thing to do. Why waste your own time in submitting, since you don't care to know what we're looking for? That's the surefire way to land yourself in the rejects pile.

SQF: If you could have dinner with three authors, who would they be and what is the first question you would ask each of them?

AM: My first would have to be C.S. Lewis. "'Till We Have Faces" is my favorite book ever written on this planet. I'd like to hear him tell his life story, even though I've read it. I just want to hear him talk. I'd love to sit with Homer, even though he was more of an orator, and I think I'd ask him, "What do you think life all adds up to?" Lastly, let's go with Harper Lee. I think I'd ask her, "Can you help me find my very own Atticus?" Ha!

SQF: What magazines/zines do you read on a “regular” basis?

AM: Truth be told, I don't read a lot of literature journals. I try not, because I have a tendency to get jealous and want to copy, which is never a good thing. But I love The Paris Review, and I think I can read it partly because there's no underlying competition between the two of us (TPR would clearly beat us in a fight.)

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

AM: I'd like to see you ask what makes a good poet. I know that the notion of "good" can be quite subjective, but I believe that in order to be a good writer, you need to not rush it. There's thousands of catty blog posts on the Internet, talking about how real writers work every day, all day, and if you're waiting for inspiration to strike,'re simply not a real writer. Reject this. My grandmother has been writing a book for 40 years about her time in Korea before the political schism. She called me last week to tell me she's sending me a draft soon (I've heard that before...). But what I've seen is truly beautiful, and from deep inside her heart. Don't push yourself into making something sub-par because you want to join the rat race of writers out there in the big, old world. This patience upon patience upon patience will make anyone good at their craft, no matter what it is.

Thank you, Avery. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

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